Publication date (electronic): 31 December 2009
The dark side of organizational knowing
Hugo studied for his first degree, in culture studies, at The University of Chicago. He did his Drs. in Conflict Psychology at Leiden University (NL). His PhD, a study in the role of ideology in higher education, was awarded by the Vrije Universiteit (Free University) Amsterdam. Before coming to Leicester, Hugo taught at the Universiteit voor Humanistiek, Utrecht (NL) where he was Research Professor and Director of the part-time PhD program. Before that, he taught at RSM (Rotterdam School of Management) Erasmus University (NL), the MEd, of the University of Amsterdam (Nutsseminarium) and in the Department of Labor Relations of the Utrecht Polytechnic (de Horst). Further teaching roles have been: Visiting Professor at the University of California at Berkeley, Osaka City University, L’Université de Montpellier-2, Durham University and the University of Essex; and External Professorships: at Lancaster, Keele and UWE. Hugo joined the School of Management in 2012.
External link: http://www2.le.ac.uk/departments/management/people/hletiche
Rigorous investigation of organizational epistemology, or what can an organization know and why, is a sadly underdeveloped field. Knowledge management as a field has suffered from naïve assumptions about what knowledge is and how it can(not) be shared. David Seidl in E:CO (2007) made a significant contribution to organizational epistemology, which I want to further problematize. Seidl made two assumptions: one ontological namely that organizations know things; and one epistemological namely that knowledge can be defined as perceptual complexity reduction. I wish to counter that persons and not organizations know things and that knowledge is more social than perceptual. I will argue that the problem of social knowing is not so much grounded in the epistemological question of knowledge / nonknowledge—that is, in the relations of foreground and background, facts and assumptions or knowledge and hermeneutics, as in the much more radical circularities of eternal return (duration) and the continual (re-)founding of social order. I will be inspired for the first point by Pierre Klossowski and for the second by Michel Serres.
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